Classic pop singer Mary Weiss passes away at 75

 January 22, 2024

Fans of classic pop music were left in disbelief this past weekend after learning that singer Mary Weiss had died at the age of 75. 

Weiss' death was confirmed on Saturday by a representative from her record label, Norton Records, to The Hollywood Reporter. Her cause of death has yet to be revealed.

First hits came in 1964

"Mary was an icon, a hero, a heroine, to both young men and women of my generation and of all generations," Norton Records spokesperson Miriam Linna was quoted as saying in a statement.

Breitbart noted that Weiss rose to prominence as a founding member of an all-girl pop group called the Shangri-Las, which focused on "teenage love, loss, tragedy, and longing."

Their first hit release came in 1964 with "Remember (Walking in the Sand)," which was alternatively titled "Remember."

It was composed by music producer and songwriter George "Shadow" Morton. Morton also wrote "Leader of the Pack," which was the title track of the band's debut album.

Group broke up due to legal problems

The Shangri-Las broke up in 1968 due to a series of legal disputes that resulted in Weiss being contractually prohibited from making music for a decade.

"When we started, it was all about music. By the time it ended, it was all about litigation," Weiss told Rolling Stone in a 2007 interview. "My mom signed some really bad contracts."

The singer also recalled how she later rejected fame, saying, "It took me twelve years to be able to get lost in the street."

Weiss went on to get a job outfitting commercial buildings, which caused her to be one block away from the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

Weiss and Ronnie Spector said to have been "kindred spirits"

News of Weiss' death was met with tributes to the fallen musicians on X, the social media platform previously known as Twitter.

One was posted to an account that used to belong to late fellow singing legend Ronnie Spector and it included an image of Weiss.

"We are deeply saddened to hear the news of Mary Weiss' passing," it read. "She and Ronnie were kindred spirits; two fearless bad girls of the 60s. Join us as we spin the Shangri-Las in her honor."

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